Chris Chelios Guest Speaker at Champions Banquet

February 19, 2020

The Park District of Highland Park will celebrate the community’s talented young athletes and their dedicated coaches at the fifth annual “Champions Banquet.”  The guest speaker will be Chris Chelios, former Chicago Blackhawks player and Hockey Hall of Famer. The Champions Banquet will take place on Thursday, April 30, 2020,  at 6 p.m. at the Highland Park Country Club, 1201 Park Avenue West. Co-presenters of the event are Banner Kitchen & Bath Showroom and Robert J. Semrad Foundation.

Every year, hundreds of Highland Park kids participate in Park District athletics programs to become champions at building their skills and love of the sport as well as learning the value of good sportsmanship. The Champions Banquet is a way to celebrate these great young athletes, their families, and the Park District’s dedicated coaches with a memorable evening and to raise funds so less fortunate kids can have the same great sports experiences.

Chris Chelios is a former professional ice hockey defenseman and one of the longest-tenured players in the National Hockey League (NHL). He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, was inducted in the Hockey Hall of fame in 2013, and in 2017 was named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history.      

During his professional career, Chelios played for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and the Atlanta Thrashers. He holds several NHL records including:

“Chris Chelios not only epitomizes everything a champion is but, he also is one of the most recognizable figures in hockey history,” said Chris Maliszewski, Assistant Director of Recreation with the Park District of Highland Park.  “We are very fortunate to have Chris as this year’s guest of honor at the 2020 Champions Banquet, and I look forward to our guests having the opportunity to interact with him and hear his message for our community.”

The Scholarships Mean Involvement in Leisure for Everyone (SMILE) Grant-In-Aid Program has enabled hundreds of families in need of financial assistance access to all recreation programs,  including summer camps, swimming lessons, sports, and fitness programs.  With support from residents and local businesses through donations and a variety of community events, approximately  $100,000 in grants are awarded each year to Park District of Highland Park families through this worthwhile program.

The Park District of Highland Park offers a wide array of sports opportunities for all ages, including baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, softball, volleyball, track & field, tennis, golf, figure skating, hockey, gymnastics, and swimming.  The District’s athletic departments are staffed by professionals in their field and share a common goal of providing high-quality experiences for every athlete.

For more information or to become a “Champions Banquet” sponsor, please contact Chris Maliszewski, Assistant Director of Recreation at the Park District of Highland Park at 847.579.3108 or [email protected]